Characteristics of a Heart Attack

A heart attack is also referred to as a myocardial infarction which occurs when a section of the heart muscle fails to receive sufficient blood supply, causing it to die. When heart muscles die, chest pain arises and may often lead to the person's death if not identified and treated immediately.

A heart attack can be characterized by several behaviors and symptoms exhibited by the heart. Some conditions of the heart that can be described by a heart attack include arrhythmia, angina or heart failure. The condition majorly associated with heart attacks is coronary heart disease.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of heart attacks are commonly known, and include chest pain, neck pain, jaw aches, pain in the left shoulder, cold sweats, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and nausea. In spite of the obvious signs, a heart attacks can often pass unnoticed, or can be misdiagnosed.

A failure to diagnose a heart attack due to any act of medical negligence can have serious (and fatal) consequences on the patient, as the heart muscles die with each moment of delay in receiving treatment. Almost all undiagnosed heart attacks lead to death.

Prior to the occurrence of a heart attack, women have higher chances of experiencing nausea and pain in the abdomen and chest, as compared to men. Blackouts, temporary loss of consciousness, and difficulty breathing are also commonly noticed signs, especially in people with diabetes. Diabetics can often suffer an ischemia without experiencing any chest pain, as they do not have the same pain impulses as non-diabetics.

Some of the other symptoms include:

· Heart palpitations

· Irregularity in heart beat

· Numbness in arms

· Fatigue caused by no visible or explicable reason

Risk Factors

The causes and risk factors that can increase the chances of a heart attack's occurrence include:

· Obesity

· High cholesterol

· Inactivity

· Smoking

· High blood pressure

· Diabetes

Heart attacks are usually the result of a blockage in the coronary artery which hinders the oxygen supply to the heart. When the heart is unable to pump blood to the body, it causes a heart attack. A heart attack causes heart cells to die, thus releasing proteins into the blood.

A heart attack can sometimes be confused with other heart conditions such as:

· Angina

· Panic attacks

· Acid reflux

· Muscle cramps

· Gallstones

· Ulcers

· Broken ribs

Diagnosing Heart Attacks

Technology today has created various means and tests to diagnose a heart attack. Doctors can screen and prevent a heart attack by conducting any of the following examination procedures:

· Chest X-rays

· CT scans


· Serum test

· Inserting catheter into the blood vessels

· Exercise test exams

· Prescription anticoagulants

· Inserting clot-dissolving agents

· Angiography

Some of these tests may need to be conducted repetitively to detect any changes in results over time. Failure to conduct the right test and pursue the appropriate course of treatment is a medical malpractice.

Seek Legal Assistance

Contact the New York City medical malpractice attorneys for legal support against misdiagnosis of heart attacks and medical negligence.

Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff have the best legal acumen to win your case. Why settle for less when our medical malpractice attorneys know ways to win huge settlements? Allow us to help you get your life back on track. Call 212-344-1000now so we can determine what your case is really worth.


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